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I'm an employed game designer; AMA

  • Hey!

    I've been exploiting precious knowledge around these parts for quite some time and I feel it's time for me to contribute somehow.

    So yeah I'm a professionnal game designer since 2004 and work on a few titles like Tom Clancy Raindbow Six and the Prince of Persia franchise.

    My LinkedIn account

    I have no idea if it'll interest anyone but I'm currently on vacation and working quite a lot on a little project of mine so I should be avaiable for some time.

    Obviously don't ask corporate questions that you know I can't answer but I'd be happy to share some tips and tricks concerning basic game design concepts such as combat systems, good challenges and balancing, iterative prototyping, level design, planning a game story and so on...

    Thanks!

  • Don't think your link works very well.

  • Same here, your link send me to my own profile ^^

    Happy vacation and welcome on board!

  • My bad. Fixed now.

    The honnor is mine sved. :)

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  • Salut � toi Matthieu.

    Wow, a professional from Canada (Qu�bec) around, that's cool.

    Is your current (solo) project developped in Construct (2 ? classic ?) ?

    Do you have a blog (like Pascal Luban or Dan Cook) ?

    Welcome here.

  • Enchant� Kyatric! Yeah I'm enjoying the last bit of summer here before the blizzard comes again. :P

    Yes I'm prototyping with a couple editors (virtool, unity...) and Construct seems to work best for what I need. Awesome software UI design TBH. I just installed the new version 2 so I'm a bit divided as to which one will deliver the best game in 6 months from now, but hopefully I'll find out and get back to running speed soon enough.

    I don't have a blog no, it's definitely in the list of stuff I want to start. But I enjoy the blogs of other designers like Derek Daniels or Clint Hocking.

    Honor to be here!

  • Welcome to Scirra.

    I have a general question about the industry. If someone has little to no schooling, but has a superimpressive demo as their resume', basically, would they have a chance at getting an entry-level position somewhere? If not, what if they have a reasonably successful indie title shipped?    Basically, is it possible to get a job in the industry without a degree?

  • Welcome to Scirra.

    I have a general question about the industry. If someone has little to no schooling, but has a superimpressive demo as their resume', basically, would they have a chance at getting an entry-level position somewhere? If not, what if they have a reasonably successful indie title shipped?    Basically, is it possible to get a job in the industry without a degree?

    It's not impossible but it's definitely the harder way to do it. I only know of a few devs that didn't spend a good amount of time and money getting a degree, got in the biz with talent alone, but that was in another era really. I'm only assuming here but that may be something you might regret later on because study is a great investment for the future, and going to college or uni does make you learn on whole other levels like social, meeting contacts and people who share your passion, rigor, it forces you to deliver on time, experience, learn from veterans, stages, etc... it shows your commitment and it really makes a difference in the long term, it makes you more solid overall and your value as a dev just goes boom. So yeah, definitely get a degree if you're serious about it, and read lots of books all the time. :P

    One thing that's changed in the past few years is about the hiring criterias. Considering the size of dev teams nowadays, if you're looking to get in a major company I can garantee employers and HR will favor someone that will work well with production reality over someone that's just incredibly talented. I don't know if you can see the nuance here, the cost of a production mistake is so high now that they just won't go with anyone who shows potential risks like ego issues, social inadequacies or is really inexperienced with the concept of production, no matter how talented they are. So rock solid professionalism is also a huge factor, total human respect, understanding pipelines as well as the wonderful subtle world of office politic. ;)

    A scirra construct demo certainly cannot hurt. But I personally got hired and to my surprise my employer didn't even took a look at my demo! They are much more interested in who you are rather than what you do.

    So to sum up if it can help, if you can't get a degree consider showing that you are working hard like a warrior on all front for your passion (not only construct but also getting involved in a community, searching for stages, ask them to challenge you) and always looking to learn more. Relentless would be the best qualificative for the energy of a game devs and the game industry.

    Cheers!

  • ...I'd be happy to share some tips and tricks concerning basic game design concepts such as combat systems, good challenges and balancing, iterative prototyping, level design, planning a game story and so on...

    You should totally make some tutorials on that. You'd become recognized around here pretty fast.

  • Thanks for your reply.

    yeah, school is not an option at all at this point in my life, so its either sell my own games or try the hard route

  • I'd say sell your games. Look at Notch, for example. But oh well, what do I know? :S

    EDIT: Distributing the game as freeware and using microtransactions is also a neat idea.

  • I'd say sell your games. Look at Notch, for example. But oh well, what do I know? :S

    EDIT: Distributing the game as freeware and using microtransactions is also a neat idea.

    Yeah, that's definitely the plan. Im also pretty much counting on success in that department, but just in case I can't cut it in the business end of things, all that hard work will at least amount to the most badass demo reel imaginable, and always good to have a backup plan. Just because im putting all my eggs in one basket, don't want to count my chickens beforr they hatch, too.

    And any other chicken related cliches

  • I had the micro transaction idea about 7 years ago, when it was a new idea (only available in Chinese games) published in a game called Conquer Online.

    The Chinese do it right, by offering items for money that do not completely unbalance the game and give the purchaser an unfair advantage.... unlike western game studios that took the idea, bastardized it and made it suck *cough*EA Games*cough*.

    ~Sol

  • Personally, I think it's a pretty awful idea. Most free games that use this system (there are some exceptions, such as TF2 and some others) are plain bad. Just horrible.

    And then they have the *brilliant* idea of implementing micro transactions. What do you get? A s**t load of angry people because the players who pay get a 1-hit kill assault rifle.

    And that really bothers me. It ruins all the fun of working hard for weapons, items and stats of both the buyers (they level up twice as fast, etc) and other players. (what's the point of leveling up if you know that if you don't play you'll never be able to beat premium guys?)

  • Personally, I think it's a pretty awful idea. Most free games that use this system (there are some exceptions, such as TF2 and some others) are plain bad. Just horrible.

    And then they have the *brilliant* idea of implementing micro transactions. What do you get? A s**t load of angry people because the players who pay get a 1-hit kill assault rifle.

    And that really bothers me. It ruins all the fun of working hard for weapons, items and stats of both the buyers (they level up twice as fast, etc) and other players. (what's the point of leveling up if you know that if you don't play you'll never be able to beat premium guys?)

    This is pretty much what I was talking about just above.

    Most of the western games that have tried the "micro transaction system" does end up giving 1-hit kill assault rifles, when instead they should be giving things like in-game currency, or stat points that can normally be earned by playing the game... The end effect is essentially "saving time"... REAL time, in real life! Pay money = save time (casual gamer can keep up with the hardcore hobo's with no life). The hardcore players that don't want to spend the money get to the same end result, but can spend money if they want to save the "grind".

    THAT is the "smarter" way to do it...

    ~Sol

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